Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin appeared on CNN International’s Becky Anderson’s show to discuss the Russia-Ukraine war.
“IT WOULD BE A BIG MISTAKE”
“It would be a big mistake for Russia to continue to attack diplomacy and negotiations without giving them a chance,” he said.
“TURKEY WILL NOT APPLY TO RUSSIA”
Noting that Turkey currently has no plans to impose sanctions on Russia, Kalin said that they do not want their strong economic ties with Moscow, including sectors such as energy, tourism and agriculture, to be damaged.
Kalin stressed that they want to remain in dialogue with Russia as a more important factor in avoiding the sanctions decision.
“SOME SHOULD STAY IN CONTACT WITH RUSSIA”
Officials from Western countries have also conveyed to them the importance of Turkey staying in touch with Russia, Kalin said.
Asked if there was any risk of a nuclear attack, Kalin stressed that it would be disastrous for nato to respond in cold blood to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric and that it was the right approach.
What is needed, he said, is to defuse tensions and he hopes the nuclear threat will remain only at the level of rhetoric.
UKRAINE’S NATO MEMBERSHIP
Asked whether Turkey’s positive approach to NATO enlargement includes the scenario of Ukraine’s possible NATO membership, Kalin said they do not view this possibility positively at this stage.
Kalin underlined that Turkey has not viewed the enlargement process of the European Union (EU) and NATO in Europe, the Balkans and elsewhere negatively in the past, and “We are aware of how sensitive the issue of Ukraine’s NATO membership is. That’s one of the main reasons why we want this unlawful war to end, and we hope the Ukrainians will understand us,” he said.
RUSSIA’S THREE DEMANDS: NOT LOGICAL
“It is not very maximalist and not logical,” Kalin said of all three demands russia has raised for the ceasefire at this stage, adding that the acceptance of Crimea as a Russian territory and the demand for the disarmament of Ukraine is unacceptable for a sovereign country.
Kalin said that they think moscow’s main issue is the possibility of Ukraine’s MEMBERSHIP in NATO, stressing that Russia has raised this issue in the past and they need a realistic approach to it.